August 30, 2002 |
If the loping, maverick, ex-FBI guy that Clint Eastwood plays in his sharp new thriller, Blood Work, reminds you of another loping, maverick lawman from the veteran actor and filmmaker, you are not alone: So many patrons of Center City's Roxy Theater came out of the movie commenting on the similarities to another decade's Eastwood pic that the folks at the Roxy went out and found a mint print of said film. That would be Dirty Harry (. 1/2,) the 1971 Don Siegel-directed cop thriller in which Eastwood stalks and sneers around San Francisco, upsetting his by-the-book bosses as he goes in pursuit of a deranged serial killer.
July 13, 1988 |
Even though you can't help feeling that Dirty Harry's gone Sta-prest, there are things to admire about The Dead Pool, the fifth installment of San Francisco cop Harry Callahan's ongoing, two-front war against bureaucrats and psychos. Let's put it this way: Would Harry's saga have spawned sequel after sequel, if he were played by Frank Sinatra? There would be no series but for Clint Eastwood's resourcefulness in summoning a kind of iron irony in neutralizing anti-intellectuals. So be grateful that Eastwood was the last-minute replacement for Sinatra whose illness forced him to bow out of Dirty Harry back in 1971.
September 20, 1996
The rhetorical slugfest between President Clinton and Republican candidate Bob Dole has produced an overdose of "tough on crime" platitudes. Clinton's smugness over winning the Fraternal Order of Police endorsement sent Dole into a frenzy. Clinton "talks like Dirty Harry but acts like Barney Fife," Dole said, promising to double federal prison spending, make inmates work and try juveniles as adults. Dole then visited a "tent-jail" in Phoenix - a quick fix for overcrowding popular with some who insist harshness will make prisoners good.
August 9, 2002 |
With his loping, high-waisted gait, leathery mug and squinty-eyed scowl, Clint Eastwood looks like a movie star from another time - which, in fact, he is. Blood Work, his 44th starring vehicle and the 23d film he's directed, is a sturdy, suspenseful throwback: a Southern California thriller that has the shabby cool of a Ross McDonald mystery, and, in fact, suggests a kind of laid-back version of the Dirty Harry pics Eastwood started making with...
May 21, 2008 |
TATTLE HAS heard a lot of bizarre questions asked at movie press events, but someone asking 77-year-old Clint Eastwood if had any plans to return as "Dirty Harry" is right up there. Eastwood said at a Cannes press conference for his new missing-child movie, "The Changeling," starring Angelina Jolie, that Harry Callahan was probably retired by now and he was not interested in bringing him back to the big screen. Then Jolie chimed in: "I am. " "Dirty Harriet and the 'Tomb Raider' will play it," Eastwood joked.
July 16, 2008 |
For good or for ill, Clint Eastwood's five Dirty Harry films, which have been released in a new seven-disc DVD boxed set by Warner Home Video ($74.98), have done more to define today's cop movie than virtually any other film. From where else could the requirement come that every new action flick coin a catchphrase than from the films that gave us half a dozen memorable one-liners, most notably Inspector Harry Callahan's self-satisfied, I'm-this-close-to-dispatching-your-soul-to-hell proclamation, "Go ahead, make my day. " From Arnold Schwarzenegger's "I'll be back" in the first two Terminator films to Bruce Willis' "Yippee-kai-yay" in Die Hard, the catchphrase usually validates the hero's moral - and mortal - superiority and helps fuse our enthusiastic identification with him. Trouble is, more often than not, the one-liner is uttered just as the hero is about to unleash a big can of vengeful, homicidal whoop on the bad guy. This is the most significant - and controversial - thematic element Dirty Harry has bequeathed the contemporary cop drama: Harry is as much vigilante as he is Joe Friday.
September 7, 2007 |
If the dismal receipts for "Smokin' Aces" and "Grindhouse" are an indicator, public appetite for lurid hyper-violence may be waning. Tough luck, perhaps, for "Shoot 'Em Up," which offers more of the same, but is elevated slightly by Clive Owen's darkly funny performance as a film-noir knight-errant who strives to protect an infant from successive waves of armed gunmen. Owen established himself in "Croupier" as that rare actor (sometimes Michael Caine, always George Sanders) who can make cynicism and a general contempt for everything around him seem somehow appealing.
January 26, 1989 |
Some weeks are BIG in the world of home video, and this is one of them: Four major releases lead the video parade - a sexy baseball comedy, a gritty action-drama, the latest installment in the "Dirty Harry" series and a political thriller. BULL DURHAM (1988) (Orion) $89.98. 108 minutes. Susan Sarandon, Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins. Set in the Carolina minors, this comedy is about the romance of curves and curve balls. Sarandon stars as an exalted baseball groupie who gives new meaning to the expression "playing the field.
April 9, 1986 |
T-shirts proclaimed this Pacific community "Clintville by the Sea" yesterday as actor Clint Eastwood swept to a landslide victory in the mayor's race. With returns from all four precincts counted, Eastwood had 2,166 votes to 799 for incumbent Charlotte Townsend. Officials said 73 percent of the town's 4,142 registered voters cast ballots, compared with 23 percent in the last election in 1984. The stern-faced, 6-foot-4 actor had to battle an incumbent determined to safeguard Carmel's natural beauty.
October 17, 2008 |
Max Payne is a junkyard dog of a film that is true to its video-game roots even as it transcends them. Irish director John Moore ( The Omen ) has fashioned an atmosphere darker than noir. His New York (a transformed Toronto) is a hellhole of back alleys, not boulevards; of deserted subway platforms, not teeming sidewalks; a place where ashy snow drifts down like endless regrets. In this bleak warren, Max Payne stews. Dressed in black and packing a firearm heftier than Dirty Harry's, he's the Ahab of the police department.